Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

Jesuit Father Sean Carroll Calls For Immigration Reform at Congressional Hearing

At a Capitol Hill hearing yesterday, Jesuit Father Sean Carroll, executive director of the Kino Border Initiative (KBI), testified about a new report that’s shedding light on disturbing cases of family separation caused by current U.S. immigration policy.

The report, “Documented Failures: the Consequences of Immigration Policy on the U.S.-Mexico Border,” commissioned by the Jesuit Conference of the United States, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and KBI examines the experiences of migrant women, men and children deported from the United States to cities along Mexico’s northern border.

As the executive director of KBI, a bi-national humanitarian ministry of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Carroll works to aid deported migrants who pass through the KBI’s Aid Center and through Nazareth House, KBI’s shelter for migrant women and children.

At an ad hoc hearing convened by Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, U.S. representative for Arizona’s 3rd congressional district, Fr. Carroll testified, “At the U.S./Mexico border, we are witnesses to what many don’t see or refuse to acknowledge: the physical, psychological and emotional destruction caused by current U.S. immigration policies in the lives of Mexican and Central American men, women and children looking to be reunited with their family members who live in the United States.

“This report, supported by our experience and service on the border, confirms the disastrous effects of current U.S. immigration policies on families, whether through the process of deportation or because of mixed immigration status. We can and must do better.”

Following the hearing, Fr. Carroll attended the Rally for Citizenship on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol with thousands of immigrants and activists seeking to urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Fr. Carroll said that he thinks this is an incredibly hopeful time for immigration reform as “we are doing our best to ensure that this reform is just and humane.”

Jesuit Helps Las Vegas Business Community with Ethics

Jesuit Father Max OlivaJesuit Father Max Oliva has built a ministry that focuses on ethical decision-making in the workplace in a locale not often associated with ethics: Las Vegas.

“People are fascinated with a priest that works with businesspeople on ethics,” Fr. Oliva told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Through his Ethics in the Marketplace ministry, Fr. Oliva offers talks, seminars and individual sessions to businesspeople who are trying to sort through dilemmas they encounter in the office, such as how to lay off people out of necessity or handle a contract dispute.

“My experience is there are not a lot of people you can talk to about this stuff,” Fr. Oliva said. “You don’t want to talk to your boss. You can’t talk to a pastor because he is overwhelmed with other things. You don’t want to take it home and make it a big problem.” That’s where Fr. Oliva, a Jesuit with a background in business, steps in to help.

When Fr. Oliva graduated from Santa Clara University in 1961 with a B.A. marketing and business, he had job offers at three family-owned businesses. Instead he chose to enter the Jesuits. He later received an MBA, but most of his work as a Jesuit was in parish or native ministry until ten years ago.

In 2002, he founded Spirituality at Work, which is now Ethics in the Marketplace, after reading a Fortune magazine article on religion in the workplace.

Fr. Oliva ended up in the Las Vegas area after answering a call to help out with a shortage of priests on a part-time basis in 2008 and is now there full time. “My provincial (Jesuit superior) says I’m our missionary in Nevada,” he says.

Since coming to Vegas, Fr. Oliva hasn’t had much contact with business on the Las Vegas Strip. “When I first came here, I reached out by sending letters to Strip executives and never heard back from anybody,” Fr. Oliva says.

“I hope my being here will draw people closer to God and help them be better people in the workplace. I hope that what I have to offer helps to deal with serious issues both personal and work-related,” says Fr. Oliva of his goals.

Read the full interview with Fr. Oliva at the Las Vegas Review-Journal website.

Jesuit Father Ted Arroyo Discusses Alabama’s Anti-Immigration Law in This Month’s NJN Podcast

In this month’s NJN podcast, we spoke to Jesuit Father Ted Arroyo from his office in Mobile about the immigration law recently put into place in Alabama that is considered one of the strictest in the U.S.

Fr. Arroyo currently serves as the Alabama Associate for the Jesuit Social Research Institute. Based out of New Orleans, the Jesuit Social Research Institute, JSRI, works throughout the Gulf South doing research, analysis, education, and advocacy on the issues of poverty, race, and migration.

You can listen to our podcast with Arroyo via the player below. You can also read his testimony in front of the Alabama’s state legislature by visiting the JSRI site here.

Jesuit Prison Chaplain Sees Jesus in Inmates

Jesuit Father George Williams

Lt. Sam Robinson/San Quentin State Prison

Jesuit Father George Williams recently became the new Catholic chaplain of San Quentin State Prison in California and said of his new job, “God jumps out at you when you least expect it.”

Fr. Williams, who served 15 years in prison ministries in Massachusetts before being appointed to his “dream job” at California’s oldest penitentiary, sees Christ in the Hell’s Angel shouting a greeting, “Hey, from one angel to another, how’s it going?”

He sees Christ in the lifers who are studying theology and said the inmates sometimes stump him with their insightful questions and surprise him with their knowledge of church teaching.

The facility houses nearly 6,000 prisoners, and about a quarter of them are Catholic.

Williams is in charge of a full sacramental calendar: baptisms at Easter; confirmations; confessions, which are significant for their healing and forgiving; the Eucharist; and anointing of the sick.

Although taken aback by San Quentin’s harsh conditions — he wears a bulletproof vest to work — he was pleasantly surprised by the plethora of programs, beautiful Catholic chapel and hordes of volunteers who bring “a humanness here I didn’t expect.”

“You see the Gospel in a totally different light in prison,” Williams said. “The early Christians were no strangers to prison and execution, including Jesus.”

As a Jesuit priest, his mission is to go where the need is greatest, Williams said.

“Nowhere is there a greater need than in the prison system that holds more than 2 million mostly poor and often disenfranchised people,” he said. “I feel a call to respond to that need.”

Read more about Williams at Catholic San Francisco.

Jesuit Father Sean Carroll, Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative, to Speak at Georgetown Conference on Immigration Reform

sean carrollA one-day conference at the Intercultural Center Auditorium on the campus of Georgetown University this Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009 seeks to educate and inspire students and others to greater knowledge, commitment and action for immigration reform. Jesuit Father Sean Carroll, Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative, will be on hand to speak during one of the panels.

A series of panel discussions will put a human face on the migrant experience by: sharing personal narratives of individuals crossing the border; exploring political/legal, economic, ethical and law enforcement perspectives on the current immigration system; making the case for policy changes, discussing ways in which the current system is failing immigrants and our communities. It also will explore the prospects for immigration reform, discuss the key players in the process and talk about what such reform may look like.
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